Head Coach Shade Munro has announced a 32-player squad for the 2017 Women’s Six Nations Championship, which will see Scotland play three home games at Broadwood Stadium.
Scotland Women will open their campaign against Ireland Women on Friday 3 February (kick-off 6.35pm). It is the first of three home games to be played in Cumbernauld as double-headers alongside Scotland U20.
As part of their preparations, Scotland Women will convene for a three-day training camp in London on Sunday 22 January which will culminate in a match against English Premiership side Aylesford Bulls.
Munro said: “The Women’s Six Nations is a great platform to develop the squad and benchmark progress as we work towards closing the gap with world-class nations.
“We’ve added more training camps and competitive games this season to better prepare both the new and experienced players for the task ahead.
“The structures Scottish Rugby has put in place to support players and release their full potential are also making a difference and we took huge positives from our two matches against Spain in autumn.
“We competed for the whole 80 minutes in both games and developed our defence and attack. The players took confidence from that because they can see the improvement.
“In this tournament, our focus is really on us. There’s no doubt we have progressed in a number of areas, but there is a lot more we can do to improve.”
Four players who made their debut in the Rugby World Cup qualifiers against Spain in November remain in contention; flanker Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill), forwards Sarah Bonar and Rachel Malcom (both Lichfield) and front-row Lucy Park (Murrayfield Wanderers).
Centres Helen Nelson (Murrayfield Wanderers) and Lisa Thomson (Edinburgh University) return to the mix following their debuts in last year’s Six Nations, alongside wing Rhona Lloyd (Edinburgh University).
Scottish Rugby’s first full-time female player Jade Konkel (Hillhead Jordanhill) is back from injury and is one of 13 BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy players selected.
Captain Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers) is among the more experienced players including Tracy Balmer (Worcester), Heather Lockhart and Lindsey Smith (both Hillhead Jordanhill).
Following their opening game against Ireland, Scotland will play two further matches at Broadwood, which they adopted as their base last year, hosting Wales on Friday 24 February (kick-off 6.30pm) and Italy on Friday 17 March (kick-off 6.30pm).
They will face France on Saturday 11 February in La Rochelle (kick-off 8pm GMT) and England on Saturday 11 March at The Twickenham Stoop (kick-off 1pm).
All 15 Women’s Six Nations games will be broadcast live on TV or online to help raise the profile of the Championship, with highlights also available on BBC. New, dedicated social media channels have also been launched to assist in creating its own identity.
Tickets to the Scotland Women and Scotland U20 double-headers at Broadwood Stadium are available HERE. Adult tickets £10 (valid for both matches), with free entry for senior citizens, U18 and Scotland season pass holders.
Scotland Women squad for the 2017 Women’s Six Nations
Tracy Balmer (Worcester)
Sarah Bonar (Lichfield)
Rachel Cook* (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Katie Dougan (Edinburgh University)
Karen Dunbar* (RHC Cougars)
Jemma Forsyth (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Jade Konkel** (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Heather Lockhart (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Rachel Malcolm (Lichfield)
Deborah McCormack (Aylesford Bulls)
Louise McMillan* (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Siobhan McMillan (Cartha Queens Park)
Lyndsay O’Donnell (Worcester)
Lucy Park* (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Lisa Robertson (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Lana Skeldon (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Lindsey Smith (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Anna Stodter (Saracens)
Emma Wassell* (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Caroline Collie (Bletchley Ladies)
Abi Evans (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Megan Gaffney (Edinburgh University)
Lauren Harris (Melrose)
Gillian Inglis (RHC Cougars)
Sarah Law* (Murrayfield Wanderers/Edinburgh University)
Rhona Lloyd* (Edinburgh University)
Lisa Martin* (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Jenny Maxwell (Lichfield)
Helen Nelson* (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Chloe Rollie* (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Eilidh Sinclair* (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Lisa Thomson* (Edinburgh University)
* BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 2 player 2016/17
** BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 3 player 2016/17
Scotland Women 2017 Six Nations Fixtures
Friday 3 February
Scotland Women v Ireland Women, Broadwood Stadium (kick-off 6.35pm)
Saturday 11 February
France Women v Scotland Women, Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle (kick-off 9pm local/8pm GMT)
Friday 24 February
Scotland Women v Wales Women, Broadwood Stadium (kick-off 6.30pm)
Saturday 11 March
England Women v Scotland Women, TheTwickenham Stoop (kick-off 1pm)
Friday 17 March
Scotland Women v Italy Women, Broadwood Stadium (kick-off 6.30pm)
Tickets to Scotland Women’s home games are available HERE.
Report courtesy of Scottish Rugby via RBS 6 Nations